One of the fundamental principles of Cork City Libraries is the support for learning and the independent quest for knowledge. The library is always seen as a resource for lifelong learning as well as a broad cultural resource. The lending of CDs, tapes, and DVDs is also a vital part of that widening of the knowledge base within every community.
Over recent years, Library visitors will have noticed the growing selection of tapes and other digital media assembled by Library staff. There are now hundreds of tapes and multiple-tape sets of spoken fiction for lending. Spoken novels, biographies and poetry continue to be very popular with a wide range of readers. The elderly and the sight-impaired have always enjoyed the spoken arts, but recent surveys have shown that the range of users of multiple-tape sets is very wide indeed, and now includes many young commercial drivers, taxi-drivers, business executives on the move, as well as the more traditional groups. The wide usage of such material demonstrates just how dynamic and ever-changing libraries can be.
Tapes and DVDs cover many areas, but a most important area is that of language-learning. Self-learning sets in Arabic, German, Polish, Japanese, Irish, Spanish and Italian continue to be very popular, but a much wider range of languages is available. Recently published audio-books include: fiction, philosophy, meditation, cookery, biography and autobiography.
The dynamic and hugely popular Music Library is a more specialized area for the professional and leisure listener. The Rory Gallagher Music Library has a stock of over 20,000 CDs, tapes, and vinyl records, in addition to 2,500 musical scores, and 3,000 specialist books on music. The vinyl and CD collection caters for every musical taste, including classical, jazz, folk/traditional, light opera, choral, military bands, as well as Rock and the spoken arts. Listening facilities are also available in the Music Library, as well as free membership for the registered Visually Impaired.